"During my Bachelor of Biomedicine, I developed a strong interest in visual neuroscience due to its complexity and direct link with one’s quality of life. Pursuing this interest has let me to the Doctor of Optometry after my undergraduate degree."
Yifu started the Doctor of Optometry in 2017, after completing the Bachelor of Biomedicine in 2015 at the University of Melbourne. He has been on the Dean’s Honours List during both his undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Yifu is considering pursuing research after he completes his Doctor of Optometry.
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Why the Doctor of Optometry?
During my Bachelor of Biomedicine, I developed a strong interest in visual neuroscience due to its complexity and direct link with one’s quality of life. Pursuing this interest has let me to the Doctor of Optometry after my undergraduate degree.
To me, the most appealing aspect of the Doctor of Optometry is that we get exposed to the profession under a variety of settings. Being able to experience optometry practice from clinical, business and research perspectives really broadened by horizons and helped me gain insights into my own potential career path.
Apart from the clinical skills I learned from the course, I also developed communication strategies, problem solving and critical thinking skills that are required in clinical practice.
The second-year optometry research project has been the most rewarding experience so far. I was incredibly fortunate to work in a collaborative environment where I learned a lot from my peers and my supervisor. The moments when a new thought came to mind and connected with previously unconnected ideas made the whole experience fun and exciting.
I also work as a part-time optical dispenser to support myself while studying. The role involves doing screening tests to assist optometrists and dispensing glasses to customers. It provides me with an opportunity to get some hands-on experience in dispensing and a better understanding of optometry practice in retail settings
At this stage, I am considering following a research path after completing my Doctor of Optometry. I was deeply inspired by the research academics in the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences when I did my summer research project in January 2019.
Why the University of Melbourne?
The flexibility of the Melbourne Model attracted me because it gave me the chance to tailor the undergraduate curriculum in a way that fulfilled my interests. Having a bunch of breadth subjects like music and wine tasting alongside a major in human anatomy made the learning process much more enjoyable.
- Involvement in student clubs and activities (e.g. participating in the Biomedicine Student Society and Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships)
- Studying a German Diploma, especially the cultural studies subjects
Transition to university:
Settling in the new environment was daunting in the beginning, but I soon found out about the amazing resources and services that the University of Melbourne has to offer. The student workshops were particularly useful in helping me build confidence and resilience in the first few months.
Advice for students
Always keep an open mind to challenges and opportunities. Be aware of the wide range of student support services available to us and never be afraid to ask for help!